Thursday, October 04, 2012

WSJ report indicates Apple's manufacturing partners have begun mass production of the iPad mini

A Wednesday morning Wall Street Journal report stated that Apple's Asian manufacturing partners have begun mass production of the firm's new smaller tablet, dubbed the iPad mini by press and analysts.

The news came a day after a rumor circulated saying that Apple would send out invitations to an iPad mini launch event next Wednesday, Oct. 10. To be clear, the invitations would be sent on Oct. 10; the actual event would be later.

Based on past history, the event would be held itself on Oct. 17, with pre-orders starting on Oct. 19 and the device hitting retail on Oct. 26. This is, of course, an educated guess, but consistent with the way Apple has run things in the past.

At first it was believed that the iPad mini would launch alongside the iPhone 5, but as we reported in late August, Apple decided that their flagship device, the iPhone 5, wouldn't share the stage with the smaller-screened iPad.

Not much is known about the iPad mini, but rumors say that it will ship with a 7.85-inch non-retina (1,024 x 768) screen. The latest rumors about pricing indicate that the device "might" be priced at $349, with the "guesstimate" being made based on the price of the fifth-generation iPod touch.

Steve Jobs once famously said that sub-10-inch tablets were DOA. However, it's known that soon after Samsung released its first 7-inch Galaxy Tab Android tablet in late 2010, other Apple executives pointed out the need for a tablet with that screen size.

The information about Apple's desire for a smaller tablet, and the timing, were revealed at the company's earlier patent trial against Samsung.

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